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ZF presents new concept for electrifying trailers

ZF’s latest version of its concept to electrify the trailer will be on show at the NUFAM commercial vehicles trade show in Karlsruhe (Germany). The ZF electrified trailer solution is made possible by integrating ZF’s AxTrax 2 electric axle with a modular battery system box for recuperation and traction support.


The AxTrax 2 electrified axle system enables recuperation and traction support to deliver up to 210 kW continuous power and 26,000 N·m of peak output of seamless torque.

Due to its ability to recuperate energy from braking, the system can “convert” a heavy-duty diesel truck into a hybrid vehicle, generating up to 16% fuel and CO2 savings, while the optional plug-in variant can save up to 40%. The trailer also provides benefits for zero-emissions electrified heavy trucks by extending their range.

Bringing the benefits of electrified trailers to fleet operators took a step closer as ZF’s Commercial Vehicle Solutions (CVS) division announced that it will cooperate with BPW to offer a fully integrated running gear system for trailer builders including ZF’s AxTrax 2 electric axle (earlier post).


ZF AxTrax 2 electric drive axle

Kässbohrer and Krone, two leading trailer manufacturers, will also start to implement ZF’s electrification system into their platforms.

ZF’s electrified trailer solution is designed to meet future standards and comply with national and regional regulations. The first electric trailers are expected to be operating on EU roads, once regularity classification has been received.



I often thought about this concept which could also incorporate independent regen-braking on each braking wheel which could be controlled by monitoring the tongue angle and the intensity of force against the tongue at any angle, maybe using load cells and some type of transducer for the tongue angle , this would reduce trailer jack knife and load oscillation effects, it could also assist in backing trailers. This idea could be useful for RV's and domestic trailers also.


This makes sense along with removing Diesel refer units on trailers. Compound the savings by reducing brake wear/maintenance, improving fuel usage of the tractor, and reduced fuel cost for the refrigerated trailers. May even be able to down size the tractor unit with the trailer providing additional tractive support.

Biggest issues are going to be buy in cost and reduced cargo capacity to offset weight of batteries and e-axle. At least this appears to be a retrofit possibility. That way we are not scrapping fleets of trailers to implement this.



Trailers already use systems to control conventional air brakes. I assume that this system uses the same input to control regen braking.

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